June Wrap Up…

Welcome to my June Wrap Up. I had a terrible reading month, finishing just 4 books (amazingly 3 of them from my TBR). Even though I didn’t read a lot this month, I really enjoyed all the books I did read, So im looking forward to talking about them in this wrap up.

I have reviews up or coming up for most of these books so as usual this is just going to be a brief run down on each book I read.

Without further ado, let’s get into my June Wrap Up…

Stargazing For Beginners by Jenny McLachlan: This book was a little slow at the start, but once it got going it was wonderful. I loved the character of Meg, I was really able to relate to her. Jenny McLachlan did a fantastic job with the support characters in this book they were so diverse and unique, they really added an extra dimension to this book. I loved Stargazing For Beginners and I think everyone should get their hands on a copy ASAP.

The Upside Of Unrequited by Becki Albertalli: I went into this book with high hopes and I wasnt disappointed. I loved this book. Becki Albertalli’s writing style really agrees with me. This book was full of amazing characters and awkward, funny, heartwarming moments. I really loved the fact that Simon made an appearance in this book. if you havent yet read this book do it now, The Upside Of Unrequited is not to be missed.

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure: This book was beautiful. It gave me the feels big time. I loved the concept, the story and the characters. This book had some unexpected moments that really enhanced the story. But Then I Came Back is a definite keeper that I will be reading again in the future.

The Bomb That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan: Wow. I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, it was fantastic. This book is so relevent and really struck a chord with me whilst reading it. Brian Conaghan did an amazing job with the book. The plot, Characters and the writing are all perfect. Everyone should read this book, it will stay with you long after the last page.

That’s it for my June Wrap Up. Let me know what you guys read this month. Until my July Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

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2017 Mid-Year Freakout…

I can’t believe how fast 2017 is going, I blinked and it was June. I’m a little late with this post but better late than never right? Now I know some of these book weren’t released in 2017, I just read them this year so that’s why they are included in this post. Without further ado, Here is my 2017 Mid-Year Freakout.

Best book you have read so far in 2017? This was a hard decision but im going to go with The Song Of Us by J.D. Barrett. I absolutely adore J.D. Barrett’s writing and I loved The Song Of Us.

Best sequel you have read in 2017? P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.

Sequel that came out this year that you still havent read? Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han.

Most anticipated release for the remainder of 2017? I can’t wait to get my hands on Sleeping Beauties by Stephen king and Owen King. September can’t come fast enough.

Biggest disappointment of 2017? Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I just couldn’t get into this book and I really wanted to.

Biggest surprise so far in 2017? The Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hessa. This book blew my mind. I hadn’t heard anything about it, I just picked it up on a whim and I absolutely loved it.

Favourite debut Author? Stephanie Garber. I loved Caraval and I was blown away that it was by a debut Author. It was so good.

Newest fictional crush? Jack Baker from London Bound by C.J. Duggan.

Newest favourite character? Cath from FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell. I love Cath and I was sad to say goodbye to her at the end of the book.

A book that made you happy? FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell. I fell in love with this book and didn’t want it to end. It gave me the feels big time.

A book that made you cry? The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke. This book really struck a chord with me and has stayed with me.

Favourite book to film adaptation this year? I would say this is my favourite but it is the only book to film adaptation I have seen this year so im going to have to say 50 Shades Darker.

Favourite post you have done this year? Sydney Writers Festival: Kathryn Heyman. After attending my first Sydney Writers Festival I was really excited to post about it and I am really proud of the post.

Most beautiful book you have gotten this year? Butterfly, We’re Expecting You by Libby Hathorn. This book is so beautiful. The story, The cover, The illustrations. the whole boo is perfect.

What books do you have to read by the end of the year? I have so many books I have to read by the end of the year so im just going to give you the top three on my TBR. The Dream Walker by Victoria Cross, If Birds Fly Back by Carli Sorosiak and The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed this post. Untill next time.

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Violet Markey is counting down the days untill graduation, so she can escape Indiana and the grief of her Sister’s recent death. Theodore Finch spends his days thinking about ways to kill himself, but each time, something stops him. When Finch and Violet connect on the ledge of the schools bell tower, its unclear who saves who. When they pari up on a school project they discover that its only with each other that they can truly be themselves. As Violet’s world grows, Finch’s starts to shrink. Can Violet save the boy she has come to love?

I Love Love Loved this book.

I will admit that is was a very slow book, but once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. I really loved the characters in this book, I felt a genuine connection to both Finch and Violet. Seeing these two characters develop throughout the book made for a really emotional reading experience.

I definitely felt some similarities between this book and The Fault In Our Stars, The connection between the main characters of Violet and Finch reminded me of Hazel and Augustus.

While I didn’t mind the writing style of this book, I did have issues with its pacing. It was very slow. There were times when I was waiting for it to speed up and it just didn’t. The pacing could have turned me off and I would completely understand if it did bore readers. For me though, the connection I felt with these characters and the story being told kept me motivated even when I was frustrated with the pace.

I you can connect with these characters early on, then I think you can over look the slowness of this book. I know I did and I am so grateful that I was able to do that and end up loving this book.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is a beautiful story that I would recommend to everyone.

 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 

Simon Snow is the Chosen One, but half of the time he can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. It’s Simon’s last year at Watford School of Magicks and it’s not going well. His roommate hasn’t shown up, his mentor is avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

Readers were introduced to Simon Snow in Fangirl. Fangirl’s protagonist Cath is obsessed with Simon Snow, she spends her time writing Simon Snow fan fiction; Carry On is the end result.

Carry On is very similar to another wizarding series about a Chosen boy, with some original twists on the characters.

Honestly I didn’t love this book. I liked it, I just didn’t love it. I was excited to read Carry On after reading Fangirl, so I was disappointed by my lack of interest. I loved reading about Simon in the scattered chapters throughout Fangirl, but I didn’t really need a whole book about him. I would’ve prefered a Fangirl sequel.

The writing was good and the characters were diverse and entertaining, yet I just couldn’t get into it. The similarities between this book and another wizarding book were just too similar and that made me lose interest. I also found the fact that this book was set during Simon’s eight year at school ment I could see what Rainbow Rowell was trying to create with these character relationships but I just couldn’t feel it.

I completely understand why this book is so popular, it just wasnt for me. If you have read Fangirl then I would recommend you read this book, I would just advise you to manage your expectations.

 

Book Lovers Tag…

This tag is pretty self-explanatory. So im just going to go ahead and answer the questions.

Do you have a specific place for reading? 

Umm not really. Usually my bedroom but if it’s not cold or wet I like to sit in the backyard and read.

Bookmarks or a Random Piece of Paper?

Bookmarks are always my first choice but I will use a random scrap of paper if I need to. Just no dog ears.

Can you just stop anywhere or do you need to finish a chapter?

I can stop anywhere if I have to but if its my choice I like to finish the chapter.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

I don’t like to eat whilst reading but I usually have a drink near me at all times. Mostly water but sometimes hot chocolate, milkshake or soft drink. I don’t drink tea or coffee.

Music or TV while reading?

I can listen to music as long as it hasn’t got lyrics. Lyrics just confuse me while im reading. I usually have to television on but without sound.

One book at a time or several?

I’m a several books at a time reader. Usually one becomes the main book but I like to keep my options open. So many books so little time.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

Home all the way. I will read while im out, I always have a book on me but I prefer reading at home.

Read out loud or silently?

Silently. I only read out loud if im trying to understand something or I really want to remember a certain part.

Do you read ahead or skip the pages?

I have been known to skip pages but as a rule I try not to.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Hmmm… Breaking the spine. I love the feeling of a brand new book but I prefer breaking the spine so I feel like I have really read and enjoyed a book. I know im weird.

Do you write in your books?

NO NO NO NO NO… That’s why post it notes were invented.

 

Okay well that’s it from me. Let me know your answers in the comment section.

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell

When Cath’s twin sister tells her she doesn’t want to be roommates at college, Cath is on her own, completely out of her comfort zone. Cath’s life revolves around Simon Snow fan fiction. She eats, sleeps and breathes Simon Snow. Now out of her element at college, her Simon Snow fan fiction is the only comfort in her life. With her life changing so rapidly; can Cath make it without her sister Wren by her side? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? Can she really leave Simon Snow behind?

I Love Love Loved this book.

I was utterly hooked from the first page, The story was beautiful and felt really real to me. I loved Cath and found it really easy to connect with and relate to her.

Rainbow Rowell did an amazing job in crafting these truly three-dimensional characters. They were strong and completely different from each other which made for a fantastic reading experience.

I adored getting to journey with Cath as she slowly opened herself up to new people and new experiences. Cath’s emotions radiated off the pages and completely captivated me as a reader, I honestly felt I was experiencing her journey with her.

Rainbow Rowell’s writing style definatly agreed with me. It was endearing, easy to follow and had this cinematic quality to it that I really loved. I also loved the addition of the fanfixx and Simon Snow snippets that were presented at the start of each chapter, these perfectly placed insights/writings really added an extra dimension to this book.

I honestly can’t think of a bad thing to say about this book. The writing was beautiful, the characters were perfectly written and the story was super sweet and entertaining. I will be re reading this book many many times in the future.

If you havent yet read it, do it now because Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell should not be missed.

 

Stargazing For Beginners by JennyMcLachlan 

When Meg’s free-spirited mum abruptly takes off, science lover Meg is left to look after her baby sister Elsa. The timing of Meg’s mum’s latest disappearance couldn’t have come at a worse time; Meg is desperate to win a chance to visit NASA. Can Meg really pull of this double life of caring for Elsa and chasing her own dreams?

This book took me a while to get into, but once I did I really enjoyed it. The character of Meg didn’t really appeal to me at the beginning of the book, but after her mum left I really started to feel for her.

Jenny McLachlan did a wonderful job with the supporting characters in this book. These characters really added an extra layer and some much-needed humor to this story.

I was concerned going into this book that it was going to be filled with teen angst, I was very happily proven wrong on this point.

The relationships that develop and grow throughout this book make for a genuinely lovely reading experience.

As an older sister I loved seeing the bond between Meg and Elsa develop throughout this book.

Jenny McLauchlan has a beautiful writing style, this is the first time I have read one of her books and I really loved the way her writing felt. It was clean, humorous and a times really cinematic. I found myself re reading chapters of this book so I could see the scene play out in front of me over and over again.

I will definatly read Jenny McLachlan’s writing again, it was beautiful. This book left me with the warm and fuzzy’s and I am so grateful that I gave it a chance.

Stargazing For Beginners by Jenny McLachlan is not to be missed.

 

Characterise Me…

This post is about the book characters that I identify with most. As I was writing this post I realised that im picking characters that are what I think or hope I am like. Since im the one writing this post im not going to pick out characters that highlight my flaws. While looking at the characters I have selected I realised that I don’t completely agree with or relate to everything about each of these characters, just something or somethings about them I feel I can identify with.

Belle from The Beauty and the Beast: Well Belle is my princess. She is the first and only princess that I related to. Not only did she have brown hair and brown eyes like me but she loved reading. I also loved that she self sacrificed to protect her loved ones. I don’t think I would be as brave as she was but I hope I would try.

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter: I really relate to Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and her love of books. I also love her loyalty to her friends.

Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter: I really identify with Luna’s belief that anything is possible. I also really related to her ‘weird outsider’ status. I just wish I had the self-confidence that she has. I definitely care less about what people think about me now as an adult then I did at her age.

Sara Crew from The Little Princess: I love Sara’s optimism. I like to think im a half glass full type of person. I do struggle with it sometimes but I would like to think I could be as optimistic as Sara if the situation called for it.

Scarlett from Caraval: I completely related to Scarlett’s protectiveness of her sister Tella. Having three younger sisters myself, I really understood her and saw myself in her.

Tella from Caraval: Yes I related to both of the sisters in Caraval. I have an older sister who looks out for me so I do tend to act first think later on some occasions. I also related to Tella’s love for Scarlett and her wanting to do something for her.

Claire Shorten from Paris Lights: I really related to Claire’s determination not to let her ex ruin Paris for her. I loved that she stayed in Paris to create her own memories and didn’t hesitate to do what was needed to regain her strength. As I was reading this book I had flash backs to times when I had to do the same thing on a trip, to a lesser extent yes, but I really understood her in that moment.

Well that’s it from me. I think I could probably find things in most characters that I can relate to but these are the amazing characters that spoke to me and that I saw myself in at the times in my life when I discovered them.

Let me know in the comments which characters you feel you relate to.

Happy Reading…

❤ gEM

 

Knock Knock Dinosaur by Caryl Hart and Nick East

Getting a visit from a real life dinosaur sounds amazing right? When your dinosaur’s friends turn up, its time to panic. With a house full of dinosaur’s there is mess galore. What are you going to tell your mum when she gets home?

This book was absolutely perfect…

An amazing dinosaur book that is not only fun to read, but fun to look at. Caryl Hart has done a wonderful job with this book. It’s got counting, rhyming and a fantastic story.

Caryl Hart’s terrific story is perfectly complimented by Mick East’s amazing illustrations.

As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, so I can only imagine the joy it will bring to children.

I love children’s book that are both fun and educational and Caryl Hart has created an amazing book that perfectly combines both of these elements.

With the bright and bold illustrations drawing you in and the dinosaur’s arriving in counting order, this book is the perfect book to read aloud with your kids.

Caryl Hart’s rhyming writing makes for a very enjoyable story.

I have already recommended this beautiful book to all the parents I know, so now its your turn.

Go out and get your kids a copy of Knock Knock Dinosaur by Caryl Hart, they will thank you for it later.

Doing It by Hannah Witton

This honest, hilarious and awkward book is full of confessions, revelations and anecdotes about sex, consent, virginity and a whole array of topics that we as a society don’t like to talk about. Let’s face it, sex is everywhere so why do we feel the need to hide it, lets talk honestly and frankly about this at times taboo subject. What are we waiting for? Let’s talk about sex.

I loved this book….

This amazing book covers a wide range or topics; sex, masturbation, body image, LGBTQ+, consent and healthy relationships just to name a few. A great hing about this book is you don’t have to read it start to finish, you can pick a topic at will and dive in. I read it start to finish and now im re reading it by just picking a subject that interests me in the moment.

Hannah’s writing is easy to read and very humorous. She doesn’t make light of the serious topics, yet she doesn’t shy away from taking the piss out of herself either.

The subject in this book are covered perfectly; non judgemental, full of good, sensible information as well as contact information for any professional services you may want to contact for further information.

I didn’t really expect to learn a whole lot going into this book, so I was happily surprised by how much I did actually take away from this book.

One of the things I loved most about Hannah’s approach to this book was how positive she was. The stories and anecdotes were positive and didn’t take the heavy-handed approach that we see in most sex education materials.

I have already recommended this book to everyone I know and I am positive I will be picking this book up many times in the future.

Doing It: Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton is a must read for everyone.